A Chapter by Hannah Rose

Fifth chapter of Harper’s City of Silence.

In her city where there were no flying birds
In her city where it would rain but not snow
In her city where there were no spoken words
In her city discovery would be slow

The lights turned on reminding Harper it was time to get up. The only sound was of the rain beating the window pain. The city would be grumpy today. But Harper wouldn't. She, unlike her silent city, loved the rain. After dressing herself in her yellow clothing, brushing her teeth, and inspecting her appearance in her yellow flower rimmed mirror, Harper left her room eager to get onto the city streets and into the rain.

She looked up at the grey sky as she opened the heavy door to her tenant building. This was the only thing Harper didn't like about rainy days. Cyclists road down the streets on their specially manufactured bikes, free of rusty squeaks or spinning chains. The special architecture of the dark buildings loomed tall above her, curving in strange angles, working as a path for air ways, yet failing in its attempts to divert all the rain to the silky, silent water falls that slid down the sides of the buildings. Sound came from droplets of rain falling from the sky, and puddles splashed through by the feet, and bike wheels, of city citizens.

Harper was unable to keep herself from splashing through puddles, earning her grumpy looks from others on the street, who were unable to stop themselves from doing the same. It was cold, and rain was lightly falling as Harper walked to work. It was winter. In school she learned rain freezes in some parts of the world during winter. She wondered what frozen rain was like.

The sun was coming up, but the rain clouds hid its color.

It had been two months since she started pencil making. She was able to keep up with Progress and Prune now, and enjoyed the feeling when she could see more than one of her carvings pile up, waiting for Prune to poke a hole through them.

She had yet to feel the same satisfaction of being ahead of Progress. From the start he was always a carving ahead of her. This annoyed Prune who was obviously jealous of Progress's speed. On days when Progress was especially fast, Prune would avoid looking in his direction the whole day, and leave with his nose turned up the moment the end of the work day light turned red.

Today was like the previous days only assembly line 1's quote was especially high. On days when the quote was this high, Harper recognized a pattern in Progress's work that was especially unique. His hands worked in a pattern of shifting movements, keeping a certain pace.

Harper expected this had something to do with his "listening". Whenever the supervisor was not in the work room, Progress took his ear plugs out. It was an action unrecognizable by the other workers, only Harper would notice it when she saw the blue metal peace placed on the table next to her.

But Harper disapproved of Progress's habit of "listening", so she did her best to ignore him. Today however, the pattern in which he worked was so smooth it took hold of Harper's curiosity. Progress began to notice her eyes shifting to his work and he began to make his pattern more prominent.

Her curiosity grew and Harper began to feel the secret of the movements was hidden in its sound. But she refused the temptation. The more prominent he made his pattern of work, the more obvious it was he was trying to entice Harper's curiosity. He did this often whenever he noticed Harper getting curious about his work pattern. But she would not let him win. She would not be a sacrifice to noise like he was.

When the light turned red for lunch, Harper felt a sigh of relief that the temptation to remove her ear plugs was gone. Progress on the other hand seemed annoyed, wearing a bitter yet contemplating expression all throughout lunch. After lunch he jumped in front of the line of workers heading back to the room, and by the time Harper returned to the room, he was already sitting in his seat waiting to begin. His face had a lighter expression and he smiled at Harper as she walked in. She sat down timidly, fearing the change in his demeanor.

The light turned green and Harper put in her ear plugs. However within only a few moments of working Harper could tell the sound proof technology of the ear plugs was wearing, because noise was coming through. She noticed the scraping of carving utensils against wood. No sooner was she startled by the sounds intrusion did she stop carving, pick up Progress's not in use left ear plug from the table, and switched it out with her own.

She expected her quick action to annoy Progress, but he simply kept working like before. Perhaps he didn't tamper with her ear plug and it broke on it's own. It only took Harper a moment to realize this was not the case.

He had won.

The second she dispelled the sound from her ears it began to replay itself in her head. There was a pattern to it, and it was audible. She had heard of "rhythm" before in school, and felt certain it was the correct word to describe the pattern.

The curiosity was now too strong. She loosened the ear plugs tight hold on her ear and noise started to makes it way through.

At first it was aggravating, the sound of scraped wood pounding in her head, but she was soon able to decipher between the sounds hurdling towards her ears. She could pick out the timed "rhythm" of sound coming from Progress's work.

She felt Prunes eyes on her and realize she had slowed her carving down. She pushed her ear plug back in, and quickened her carving, but the craving for the pattern of sound came back. She loosened her ear plug once again.

The unpatterned sounds of the other carvers were distracting, but Harper found herself able to focus on the pattern of sound Progress made with his carving. The sound moved from agitating to soothing.

It reminded her of the rain.

© 2018 Hannah Rose

Author's Note

Hannah Rose
I’m aware of grammatical errors, but still welcome corrections!

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Added on January 3, 2018
Last Updated on January 3, 2018


Hannah Rose
Hannah Rose


I am 20, a barista, and a student. I plan on teaching English as a second language in a foreign country after graduating college, and I love to write. I am also a Christian and hope to use my writing .. more..